1. OLD CROW THEATER SHOW

The Crowbait Club is a sort of monthly thinktank and incubator of playwrights who engage in monthly “Theater Death Matches” of 10-minute plays for entertainment, community support and feedback, and of course to choose a monthly victor, because it is highly enjoyable to compete and win stuff. "KING OF CROWS VI: NOW WE ARE SIX" is a full evening of theater presented by the 11 Death Match-winning playwrights from the past year. Each winning play will be fully staged and performed by local artists from our city’s growing theater community. The plays range in topic and tone from drama to outright farce, and local playwright Elizabeth Freeman’s winning entry is titled No Phish. Though the show is all ages (and often pretty raw), it’s not recommended for kids under 13. | Sep 6-16 | Thu-Sat 7:30 pm; Sun 5 pm | St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland | $20 | 13+ | www.stlawrencearts.org

2. SINGER/PRODUCER SEEKS CANADIAN TUXEDO ENTHUSIAST

AVA LUNA is a five-piece musical collective hailing from Brooklyn who have been around forever — well, since 2007 anyway, which is worth noting because it’s a modern miracle for truly indie bands to stay together that long these days. In this economy, amirite? Temporal fortitude notwithstanding, Ava Luna are a wicked and weird symphony of stuff ranging from soul vocals and eerie Halloween sound effect-style drones to pop and rock and all sorts of everything in between. The Apohadion, itself a weird little symphony uniquely tied to time and place, seems a perfect venue to host the band. Opening is Portland’s BRIGHT BOY (Said Cato-King), who performs live soulful vocals with produced RnB tracks, wobbling between plaintive, raw emotions and playful cheekiness — go over to the YouTubes and check out his performance of “Girl in the Jeans.” Remember to get to the Apohadion on time or early, as seating is at a premium and you’re no spring chicken, you can’t be standing up all night like some kind of youth gone wild. | Sep 6 | Thu 8 pm | The Apohadion Theater, 107 Hanover St., Portland | $10 | 21+ | www.theapohadiontheater.com

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Lahnah

3. DON’T BE CRUEL

Get ready for an evening of intense noise rock at SPACE Gallery, who never leave us wanting with their creative programming. PREOCCUPATIONS are a post-punk band led by songwriter Matt Flegel, whose aggressive compositions are sharply focused and sometimes a little punishing. If that’s your thing, you know it’s your thing. This isn’t a first date night. Portland’s own witty little noise rock outfit HARU BANGS opens, as well as Vermont’s LAHNAH, whose self-reported genre is “cruel rock.” Don’t be fooled, these bands are deeply emotional, complex endeavors that only seem like they want you to go away and leave them alone. Go ahead and buy the tickets anyway. | Sep 6 | Thu 8 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | $15 | 21+ | www.space538.org

4. ‘STARVING ARTIST’ IS A TROPE FOR A REASON

It’s the FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK again, the last of the summer. This month’s shows include some compelling, quirky venues including Vena’s Fizz House, Mechanics Hall, The Dooryard Collective and Speedwell Projects, if you want to stay away from what will surely be jam-packed sidewalks on Congress Street. The Art Walk continues to evolve and include a wider (and often more underground-y) swath of Maine creatives, but it looks like big business is getting a hand in the game too. National realtor Benchmark Real Estate is hosting an “Art, Food and Drink of Inner Washington” event at this First Friday that is clearly intended to sell their condos to people who don’t know the city. Extrapolate from that what you will, but kudos to these guys for finding a fresh way to capitalize on the often moneyless/thankless toil of local artists for out-of-state corporate gain. I’m not saying you should go get all your crust punk and biker friends and crash this thing brute squad-style like the party scene from Some Kind of Wonderful, but I’m not saying you shouldn’t, either. | Sep 7 | Fri 5 pm | Various Venues, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.creativeportland.com

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Armies

Armies

5. IT TAKES TWO TO MAKE A THING GO RIGHT

Over at Aura tonight, Dave Gutter and Anna Lombard’s ongoing exploration of the art of duets, ARMIES, releases their sophomore album. Armies II, a sublimely produced album heavily influenced by ‘70s and ‘80s RnB duets with themes of growing up and dealing with your life, will be available on vinyl at the show. Also performing are local soul singer KENYA HALL and OHX, performing their Places + Secrets Remixed album live. There isn’t a better venue at which to hear these three acts; awkward transition from its former incarnation Asylum aside, Aura has an incredible sound system and acoustics, state of the art AV equipment and lighting and, like, 47 bars or something like that. It’s like you open the bathroom door and there’s a bartender in there asking you if you want a lime in your Corona. Aura is a woman-owned and -operated venue, and it makes sense that they outfitted it for maximum comfort and ease of drinking — us gals are nothing if not keenly aware of making sure that everyone else in the room is comfortable. Where my feminists at?! You guys get it. | Sep 7 | Fri 8 pm | Aura, 121 Center Street, Portland | $15 | 21+ | www.auramaine.com  

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Film: I Am Not a Witch

6 IT’S WITCHCRAFT

Rungano Nyoni is a BAFTA award-winning filmmaker, whose debut feature I AM NOT A WITCH is playing at the PMA. The film is a satiric feminist fairy tale set in present day Zambia. I Am Not a Witch follows the story of a young girl who is accused of witchcraft and punished, only to have her punishment exploited for the financial and social gain of others. This film did the rounds at a lot of film festivals before coming here in Portland, and it’s got a heck of a buzz  not every first-time filmmaker receives the BAFTA award for outstanding debut work, and these kinds of international narratives from a black woman’s perspective with a black girl protagonist are very much welcome after what feels like a lifetime of films “for women” that can’t even pass the Bechdel Test with poor representation of people of color. Heads up, the film is in English and Nyanja with subtitles. | Sep 7 | Fri 2 & 6 pm; Sat-Sun 2 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland | $8 | All Ages | www.portlandmuseum.org    

  

7 GREEN MEANS GO

Downtown Portland’s annual environmental festival GREENFEST is now in its fifth year, offering education about subjects like sustainability in business, energy efficiency, local farming and food production and all things that Captain Planet would love to know we’re learning about. Also on offer is live music throughout the day, food and vendors, and activities for kids and adults. The hub of the action is in Monument Square, and it’s free all day. For those looking for cool stuff for their houses like efficient lighting or heat pumps, you’ll find a few companies offering those kinds of retail goods as well. There are more than 40 exhibitors this year, and it’s a very kid-friendly event. However, when it comes to matters of the environment — particularly in an election year — political canvassers and local candidates can often be found hanging out in high supply. Be prepared to be approached, and it’s 1000 percent ok to ask questions and learn even if you don’t want to sign a sheet of paper.

10 am-4 pm | Sep 8 | Sat 10 am | Monument Square, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.portlandgreenfest.org    

8. CHALK IT UP

Maine playwright Lynne Cullen, a veteran storyteller, penned THE PAVEMENT ARTIST, a full-length play about an artist — a muralist, specifically — who wants to get a message across to the decision-makers at a publishing company. It's a meditation on the function of art to express the otherwise inexpressible. Through September 16. | Fri-Sat 7:30 pm; Sun 3 pm | The Players' Ring, 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH | $12-18 | playersring.org

9. HANG ON THE PORCH

PORCHFEST is going down Sunday in the Deering Center neighborhood, though you wouldn’t really know it unless you’re involved, as there seems to be a dearth of information about it on the Greater Interweb Highway. You can’t hide from me though, Porchfest! Each year residents and businesses in Deering Center open their porches, lawns and driveways to musical performers of all ilks for the afternoon. Individual bashes tend to crop up since this festival is always a little loosey-goosey in its parameters, and I know of at least one celebrating the first anniversary of the Immigrant Welcome Center — Viva and the Reinforcements will be playing in their parking lot for the occasion. Ride your bike and leave the car at home because parking will be slim, and remember there’s no public drinking so put your craft beer into a thermos or something. You’ll figure it out. | Sep 9 | Sun 1 pm | Deering Street Neighborhood, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.dcna.me      

10  A REBEL WITH A PUPPET

BREAD AND PUPPET CIRCUS is an artist collective originally hailing from New York and now makes its home in Vermont, that creates visually stunning performances centered around giant puppets made from paper mache. How those puppets come to life in the troupe’s street theater style performances is fascinating — the acumen of these performers is pristine, with each character taking on a life rich with symbolism simply through movement. This year’s show is called “The Grasshopper Rebellion Circus” and will feature giant dwarves, celestial grasshoppers and much more. The performance is out in Fort Allen Park, and is not to be missed — we only get one of these a year. It’s a suggested donation of $10 to $25, but the circus is for all, so donate what you can. Bring a chair or a blanket, make a nest on the grassy knoll and enjoy this frenzy of performance, dance, music, art and, of course, puppets. | Sep 9 | Sun 4:30 pm | Fort Allen Park, Eastern Prom, Portland | $10 | All Ages | www.breadandpuppet.org        

11 YOU DOWN WITH RBG? YEAH YOU KNOW ME!

It is quite a week for film around these parts. SPACE Gallery is hosting a screening of RBG, the documentary about the life of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the journey she’s gone through while steadily becoming an icon of women’s rights and leadership from women in our government. At 85, Ginsburg has a huge fan base and has had a storied career, whether you agree with her politics or not; after the film, join a discussion about the current Supreme Court nomination — Brett Kavanaugh — and what it means for women’s rights going forward. This screening is presented by the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund and must be registered for in advance. | Sep 10 | Mon 6:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress Street, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.space538.org 

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Tune-Yards [Photo by Eliot Lee Hazel]

12  CROSSFINGERED AND PAINLESS

Of his American Utopia tour, DAVID BYRNE says, “We’ll be doing some new songs… and many others that will, I assume, be familiar. I’m excited. This is the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense, so fingers crossed.” This thing is obviously already sold out, but there’s a thread in the event page on Facebook that’s bubbling over with people looking to sell or pick up tickets if you’re trying to get lucky. Notoriously vowing to never reunite with the Talking Heads, Byrne is still one of our best lessons in continuing a legacy of learning well into your career. The beloved indie-pop act TUNE-YARDS open this show, and Byrne will also present his video for “Everybody’s Coming To My House,” on which he collaborated with students from the Detroit School of Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble. American Utopia has been out for a few months, so hopefully you’ve had time to get familiar with some of the new tunes you’ll hear at this show. If you have a ticket, I’m jealous. | Sep 11 | Tue 6 pm | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland | All Ages | www.davidbyrne.com     

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Film: Madeline's Madeline

13 TEEN DREAM

MADELINE’S MADELINE is a film by Josephine Decker about a young woman named Madeline (a newcomer in what has been called a breakthrough performance, Helena Howard) whose work with a progressive physical theater troupe leads her to blur the lines between the troupe’s collective art project and Madeline’s own tumultuous but rich personal life and deepest inner emotions. Also starring Miranda July and Molly Parker, the film is a tale of finding one’s own identity among the swirling pressures of teen life, and it defies easy categorization — if you’re familiar with July’s own film works, a sense of what that could mean here (though she’s not the director) frames up a little bit. After the film, stick around for a live video chat with Decker about the film and her approach to making art. | Sept 12 | Wed 7:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress Street, Portland | $8 | All Ages | www.space538.org 

14 THIRSTY?

It bears mentioning that the CAMDEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, now in its fourteenth year, starts today — get your travel plans in order and pick your films out from over 100 feature films, short films, immersive and interactive experiences and episodic features from over 30 countries. This year, half or more of the selections are directed or co-directed by women in every category, including artist installations and programming, and half of the films are made by first- or second-time filmmakers. Stay tuned next week for our guide to the films... | Sept 13-16 | Thu-Sun | Camden International Film Festival, Camden, Rockland and Rockport, ME | Varies | All Ages | www.pointsnorthinstitute.org    

Victoria Karol is a contributing writer for the Portland Phoenix, covering local music and the Dance Card listings. She produces Music Video Portland, Maine's video music awards and writes about feminism and culture on her blog hottrashportland.com.

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